W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html-a11y@w3.org > March 2012

RE: Drop longdesc, get aria-describedat?

From: John Foliot <john@foliot.ca>
Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2012 21:26:25 -0700
To: "'Silvia Pfeiffer'" <silviapfeiffer1@gmail.com>
Cc: "'Richard Schwerdtfeger'" <schwer@us.ibm.com>, "'Leif Halvard Silli'" <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>, "'Charles McCathieNevile'" <chaals@opera.com>, "'W3C WAI-XTECH'" <wai-xtech@w3.org>, "'HTMLAccessibility Task Force'" <public-html-a11y@w3.org>
Message-ID: <002501cd0263$cb014b90$6103e2b0$@ca>
Silvia Pfeiffer wrote:
> > As Chaals pointed out almost 3 years ago, we can go through the whole
> > process to emerge at the end with something that is essentially what
> > @longdesc is today, but with a shiny new name.
> If after such an exercise we end up exactly at the same spot where
> @longdesc is now, then indeed there is no purpose in giving it a new
> name. However, it is an assumption that may not hold true. Instead,
> all it achieves is that we keep spinning in circles. Is it really that
> important to hold on to the name? 

2 words: backwards compatibility, so yes, keeping the name is important.

> Let's just get started on redefining
> what we want, from scratch, without any prejudice as to where we will
> end, and see where the journey takes us. If we end up in the same
> place and it's all achievable with @longdesc, then we can still put
> that label back on the effort.

I support the effort to examine user requirements, as well as HTML5's
requirements to provide appropriate technology to support both users and
other business & legal requirements.  I would welcome the opportunity to
examine @longdesc to see if we  can improve and expand its usefulness, but I
think that tossing out the existing attribute without a viable replacement
today does significant harm and benefits no-one.

So rather than casting it as a blank slate, let's cast it as a period of
refinement. I think in that light you would find wider support moving

Received on Thursday, 15 March 2012 04:27:01 UTC

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